Two Die After Partial World Cup Stadium Collapse

The Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is scheduled to host the 2014 World Cup Opening Match. (Photo credit: Sports Illustrated)

The Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is scheduled to host the 2014 World Cup Opening Match. (Photo credit: Sports Illustrated)

I shared an article a while ago about the protests in Brazil over the outrageous overspending that was occurring surrounding the 2014 World Cup, which is supposedly going to be hosted by Brazil. In that article I advocated that the horrendous situation that was taking place (and continues to take place, by the way) would justify taking the World Cup away and giving it to the U.S.

On Wednesday, another sad, devastating example of why this is a move that should’ve been executed a long time ago. Two construction workers died in a horrific accident at the stadium in Rio that is scheduled to host the opening match of soccer’s grandest spectacle next summer. Part of the stadium collapsed when a crane slammed into a 500-ton metal structure, which then fell and cut into the outer walls of the stadium, destroying rows of seats and a crushing an LED-display that ran across the venue’s facade.

SI had more on the incident:

The accident could delay delivery of the stadium, which was practically finished before Wednesday’s collapse. FIFA has set a December deadline for all 12 World Cup venues to be ready. The World Cup begins on June 12 with Brazil playing at the Sao Paulo stadium.

Officials said there were no major structural damages to the stadium but declined to say how much the accident may affect the delivery.

”I don’t want to know about FIFA right now, we are worried about the families of the victims,” former Corinthians president Andres Sanchez told a news conference.

Sanchez said two people were confirmed dead and nobody else was injured. A fire department official had said earlier that three people had died. …

The accident happened at lunchtime, so not many of the nearly 1,700 employees working on the venue were on site when the crane collapsed on top of the metal structure, causing the deadly domino effect.

”The sound was as loud as a thunderclap or a huge explosion,” said Rodrigo Vessoni, a reporter with sports daily Lance who said he had just walked out of the stadium after interviewing Sanchez. ”There was a lot of running around, a lot of shouting. It was frightening. Chills ran through my entire body. It was unbelievable. The noise was metal grating on metal. It was a terrible thing to see.”

I’m not going to say that this could’ve been prevented if FIFA had just moved the World Cup somewhere else, but it’s tough to imagine something like this would’ve happened in, say, the U.S. Things have seemed destined to fail for some time now, and the signs just keep on raining down. It’ll be interesting to see if/how things hold up during the tournament.

Sicne FIFA doesn’t have the cojones to move the tournament, I guess we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that things do get better and that this isn’t a sign of things to come.

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